Penn Station shooting: NYPD hunt gunman after bystander caught in middle of feud struck during rush hour

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Police in New York City are hunting an unidentified suspect accused of opening fire outside Penn Station around rush hour on Monday, striking a 58-year-old victim who got caught in the middle of a feud.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) on Tuesday released surveillance video showing the suspect, described as a Black male wearing a black and red backpack. He was last seen wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans and black and white sneakers, getting to the top of an escalator at the station. 

At about 5:40 p.m. Monday, the suspect fired a shot in the vicinity of West 31st Street and 7th Avenue outside the New Jersey Transit entrance toward a 56-year-old man “following a dispute,” police said. But the shot missed the intended target, and instead struck a 58-year-old male in his right thigh. 

Emergency Medical Services transported the victim to NYC Health and Hospitals/Bellevue in stable condition, police said.  

The gunman fled the scene on foot southbound on 7th Avenue, police said. 

The shooting outside one of New York City’s busier transportation hubs might have resulted from a dispute that occurred inside Penn Station when the suspect approached the 56-year-old man while he was eating, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a press conference, according to the New York Post. 

Shea said the suspect approached the man and might have asked for food before he was “kind of shunned away, and that kind of spills onto the street here.” Police do not believe the gunman and his intended target knew each other. 

The 58-year-old bystander was “standing there, texting on his phone” when he was suddenly shot and dropped down to the pavement, a taxi dispatcher at the scene told New York Daily News. The taxi dispatcher first ran up to the man to check if he was all right, before hurrying to get an officer nearby. The officer ripped the man’s shorts to reveal the gunshot wound. 

The victim was from out of town and in New York City on a work assignment. He was waiting for his wife by the station, according to the newspaper. 

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/ or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential, police said. 

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